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UnderGround Forums >> 12 fights to sort out the UFC LW division


1/22/13 5:11 PM
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Titanium Rhino
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After the finality and closure that came and went with the last Strikeforce event, a whole new slew of talented lightweight fighters has been imported and added to the roster, many of which fans have been waiting years to see in the big show.

It's always a mystery who will fight who in a division as stacked as this one but this doesn't mean we can't speculate, right? The cold, hard truth is that there isn't a single relatively easy fight in the UFC's lightweight division.

Below is a list of twelve fights that would help sort out the literally overflowing talent pool that is the UFC 155-pound weight class.

1. Eddie Alvarez vs Jim Miller - This one at the moment is mere speculation as we await the verdict of this Friday's court hearing for former Bellator champ Eddie Alvarez (24-3-0). However, the UFC has made clear that if things work out in their favor, Eddie will be filling a co-main event slot on the Jones/Sonnen undercard in New Jersey. What better opponent than Jersey's own Jim Miller (22-4-0), who is coming off a bloody, dominating win over Joe Lauzon.

It was made obvious by Dana White's offer to Alvarez ($250,000 signing bonus, immediate title shot & cut of PPV) that he intended to have the former Bellator champ come in and immediately challenge Henderson. Unfortunately, it was thwarted by the Bellator lawsuit and Melendez got the shot instead. On the bright side of it, a fight with Miller would be a great way to get his feet wet before taking the deep plunge into the thickest division in mixed martial arts.

2. Jorge Masvidal vs Winner of Pettis/Cerrone - While not officially announced as being added to the UFC lightweight roster, Jorge Masvidal (23-7-0) will not be overlooked yet again by the UFC. As he recovers from an injury that forced him out of his bout with Pat Healy, UFC officials are most likely preparing a contract for him. Being one the most exciting and diverse fighters Strikeforce had to offer, he would make the perfect opponent for whoever comes out of this weekends showdown between Donald Cerrone (19-4-0) and Anthony Pettis (15-2-0) with their hand raised.

The Miami native, known for his exciting, crisp boxing style and solid ground game would be a very welcome addition to the UFC 155-pound division, having been victorious in three out of his four fights under the Strikeforce banner; his sole loss being his title challenge to Melendez last December. Cerrone and Pettis will settle some bad blood this weekend reaching back to their WEC days. The forward, aggressive styles of either of these fighters would efficiently give Jorge his first big test in the UFC.

3. Pat Healy vs Gray Maynard - Strikeforce #1 contender Pat Healy (29-16-0) has fought more big names and tough competition than probably anyone else in the sport, many outside of his natural weight class.

See the rest of the list here(Bluenamer please assist):

http://buddhasport.com/mma/article/2013-01-22/12-fights-to-sort-out-the-ufc-lightweight-division
1/22/13 5:14 PM
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MachidasStraightLeft
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I totally agree with you RE Miller vs Alvarez, but Masvidal vs Cerrone/Pettis winner and Healy vs Maynard?!?

Masvidal and Healy are good, but they're not even top 15 LWs.  No way should either of them get a top 5 opponent in their first fight.

Not to mention I think Masvidal and Healy would get annihilated by any of Maynard, Cerrone or Pettis.

1/22/13 5:16 PM
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MachidasStraightLeft
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Also if any of the Strikeforce LW imports were to get a top 5 opponent immediately, it would definitely be Josh Thomson.

1/22/13 5:17 PM
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MachidasStraightLeft
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Also if any of the Strikeforce LW imports were to get a top 5 opponent immediately, it would definitely be Josh Thomson.

1/22/13 5:18 PM
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Scarred
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So who gets the next shot after Melendez?
1/22/13 5:32 PM
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Titanium Rhino
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Scarred - So who gets the next shot after Melendez?

I would think Eddie IF he wins whoever they put him against. I'm not ruling out Alvarez/Maynard for #1 contender either. That is is VERY possible.
1/22/13 5:38 PM
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Titanium Rhino
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MachidasStraightLeft - 

I totally agree with you RE Miller vs Alvarez, but Masvidal vs Cerrone/Pettis winner and Healy vs Maynard?!?

Masvidal and Healy are good, but they're not even top 15 LWs.  No way should either of them get a top 5 opponent in their first fight.

Not to mention I think Masvidal and Healy would get annihilated by any of Maynard, Cerrone or Pettis.


I think Healy, being the #1 contender in SF would be a valid challenge to Maynard. Just his experience alone. That and he has been prepping for months to fight Melendez.

Masvidal I think is one of the best and most underrated LW's in the world and with SF, he couldn't compete as much as he wanted to. I think we will see a different Gamebred once he is in the UFC and can compete regularly.

I agree Healy/Maynard is questionable but I think Masvidal beats Cerrone and holds his own against Pettis.
1/22/13 5:41 PM
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MachidasStraightLeft
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Titanium Rhino - 
MachidasStraightLeft - 

I totally agree with you RE Miller vs Alvarez, but Masvidal vs Cerrone/Pettis winner and Healy vs Maynard?!?

Masvidal and Healy are good, but they're not even top 15 LWs.  No way should either of them get a top 5 opponent in their first fight.

Not to mention I think Masvidal and Healy would get annihilated by any of Maynard, Cerrone or Pettis.


I think Healy, being the #1 contender in SF would be a valid challenge to Maynard. Just his experience alone. That and he has been prepping for months to fight Melendez.

Masvidal I think is one of the best and most underrated LW's in the world and with SF, he couldn't compete as much as he wanted to. I think we will see a different Gamebred once he is in the UFC and can compete regularly.

I agree Healy/Maynard is questionable but I think Masvidal beats Cerrone and holds his own against Pettis.

We'll see how Melendez does against Bendo.  

Masvidal, while he definitely got beat, held his own against Gil.  If Melendez beats or seriously challenges Bendo, then you may be right about Masvidal.

As far as Healy, I think he'd have a hard time against any top 10 LW.

1/22/13 5:52 PM
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Titanium Rhino
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MachidasStraightLeft - 
Titanium Rhino - 
MachidasStraightLeft - 

I totally agree with you RE Miller vs Alvarez, but Masvidal vs Cerrone/Pettis winner and Healy vs Maynard?!?

Masvidal and Healy are good, but they're not even top 15 LWs.  No way should either of them get a top 5 opponent in their first fight.

Not to mention I think Masvidal and Healy would get annihilated by any of Maynard, Cerrone or Pettis.


I think Healy, being the #1 contender in SF would be a valid challenge to Maynard. Just his experience alone. That and he has been prepping for months to fight Melendez.

Masvidal I think is one of the best and most underrated LW's in the world and with SF, he couldn't compete as much as he wanted to. I think we will see a different Gamebred once he is in the UFC and can compete regularly.

I agree Healy/Maynard is questionable but I think Masvidal beats Cerrone and holds his own against Pettis.

We'll see how Melendez does against Bendo.  

Masvidal, while he definitely got beat, held his own against Gil.  If Melendez beats or seriously challenges Bendo, then you may be right about Masvidal.

As far as Healy, I think he'd have a hard time against any top 10 LW.


Masvidal is my homie...

That being said, this is my unbiased opinion of him.

I was with him in San Diego leading up to the Melendez fight and he injured his right hand (his greatest weapon) just before the fight doing padwork, then even further in the opening round of the fight. Essentially, he fought all five rounds with a busted paw. It would've gone much differently if he had the full use of his right hand to use his amazing jab.
1/22/13 7:28 PM
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Titanium Rhino
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Phuck it, I'll just post the whole list. It's not like the UG actually sources anything I do anymore now that my blue name is gone. Haha
1/22/13 7:29 PM
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Titanium Rhino
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4. Josh Thomson vs Nate Diaz - Of course we all remember the epic trilogy that was Melendez vs Thomson. With Josh Thomson (19-5-0, 1 NC) now making a long-awaited return to the big show, what better opponent to greet him than Melendez's longtime teammate and training partner, Nate Diaz (16-8-0). Both men are coming in off title bout losses, making this fight all the more logical.

The stakes would run high as a win for Thomson could put him in the top five, whereas Diaz would suffer two in a row, sending him to the back of the line. In a division as stacked as the this, top fivers truly need to earn their spot. Regardless, styles make fights and this one would surely please even the most critical of fight fans and serve as a stiff challenge to Thomson in his return.

5. Khabib Nurmagamedov vs Winner of Wiman/Grant - It used to only be every once in a while that a young prospect would come out of nowhere and wage a war of destruction on his division. Now that the UFC has traversed the globe so extensively, things have changed and as a result, phenomenol talent is emerging from all over the world. The perfect example is Russia's Khabib Nurmagamedov (19-0-0), a well rounded Sambo world champ, with an outstanding wrestling game and aggressive style.

Despite the Russian's expressed desire to next meet Nate Diaz, there is a more logical choice of opposition. The winner of this weekends epic matchup between TJ Grant (19-5-0) and Matt Wiman (15-6-0) will have taken a huge leap up the lightweight ladder and Nurmagamedov is the perfect candidate to greet that man.

6. Rustam Khabilov vs Edson Barboza - In the wave of young, Russian talent that has hit the MMA world in the last two years, there are a couple that stand apart from the rest. Rustam Khabilov (15-1-0) has quite literally suplexed his way into the UFC lightweight division, finishing Vinc Pichel via triple suplex KO in his debut last month. Khabilov is often confused with fellow Sambo world champ and top prospect, Khabib Nurmagamedov, who recorded this past weekend his third straight victory since his debut last January.

Edson Barboza (11-1-0) could be considered a Brazilian version of Khabilov, having grabbed the world's attention with his spinning roundhouse KO of Terry Etim. The difference being that Barboza has already fought six times in the UFC, winning all but one; his TKO loss to Varner, which is widely considered by many to be a fluke. A battle with the prodigy in Khabilov would be a great opportunity to prove that it was indeed a fluke.

7. Abel Trujillo vs Jon Tuck - A product of the Blackzilians, Abel Trujillo (10-4-0) proved his worth to Dana White and Joe Silva with a demonstration of destruction and a display of pure punching power, stopping Marcus LeVesseur with crushing body shots. Meanwhile, Guam native Jon Tuck (7-0-0) also made an impressive Octagon debut, besting Mongolia's Teiquan Zhang in the UFC's trip to Macau in November, marking his first time seeing the judges decision.

This fight would tell us alot about both of these prospects and whether or not they will be able to swim in the shark infested sea that is the UFC lightweight division. Unfortunately, there are so many fighters in the lightweight division that promising, talented prospects will be forced to fight for their place in the UFC as a way of thinning out the herd.

8. Jamie Varner vs Rafael Dos Anjos - Former WEC lightweight champ Jamie Varner (21-7-1, 1 NC) began his return to the UFC by making a statement in the form of a stunning 1st round TKO over Edson Barboza. He has gone 1-1 since, falling to Joe Lauzon's submission skill, then going on to outclass Melvin Guillard. Rafael Dos Anjos (18-6-0) is on 3-fight win streak, looking nothing short of amazing in his last three outings, defeating Kamal Shalorus, Anthony Njokuani and Mark Bocek.

Both fighters are well rounded with solid submission games and sit at about the same place in division rankings. A solid victory could possibly send one of these men into the top ten but between the addition of hungry Strikeforce imports and rising prodigies, it will be hard to decipher who's who in the top ten rankings until a few "tests" are passed.

9. KJ Noons vs Ross Pearson - After an unsuccessful run in the featherweight division, TUF 9 winner Ross Pearson (14-6-0) made a very successful return to lightweight after coaching opposite George Sotiropoulos in the 1st UK vs Australia version of TUF. Pearson put an end to the Aussie's night with a 3rd round TKO, declaring a statement that he still has a place in the UFC.

Former Strikeforce title challenger KJ Noons (11-6-0) is in the same boat as Pearson, with the last few years of his career being spotted with with losses, however many consider him to be the true victor of his bout with Ryan Couture last weekend. Despite the loss, his performance earned him a spot on the UFC roster, where the former boxer can start anew. Standing opposite the cage from fellow boxer Pearson would be a good way to start.

10. Tony Ferguson vs Joe Lauzon - After securing his 6th Fight of the Night award against Jim Miller last month, marking his 12th total OTN bonus, Joe Lauzon (22-8-0) will be looking to get back in the mix and continue to take home that bonus money. Practically anyone in the LW division makes an exciting matchup for Lauzon but in terms of logic, TUF 13 winner Tony Ferguson (13-3-0) makes the most sense, with both men coming off losses.

Ferguson won the TUF series at welterweight, only to drop down to lightweight, where he went undefeated until suffering defeat at the hands of Michael Johnson back in May. Ferguson has a style that would compliment Lauzon's and possibly produce another OTN award in some shape or form.

11. Tim Means vs Myles Jury - Currently riding an impressive 9-fight win streak that includes two straight in the UFC, Tim Means (18-3-1) holds as much potential as any of the plethora of talented prospects in the division. Prior to his UFC calling, Tim was a longtime competitor in King of the Cage. Originally, he was scheduled to welcome Abel Trujillo to the UFC but a pre-fight accident in the sauna saw him replaced last minute by Marcus LeVesseur, who was then sytematically destroyed by Turjillo.

When Means recovers from injury, the man best suited to face him is undefeated TUF 15 participant and fellow KOTC veteran Myles Jury (11-0-0), who just made his most impressive performance yet against the highly touted Michael Johnson and much like Means, now holds a 2-0 record in the UFC.

12. Ryan Couture vs Mike Rio - Following in the footsteps of his father, Ryan Couture (6-1-0) will make his run in the UFC, perhaps in an attempt to live up to the legacy that Randy Couture built throughout his reign as multi-time UFC champion. However, Ryan will not have as easy a road as his dad. While Couture is apart of the next generation of fighters, he finds himself in a division stacked to the brim with some of the best veterans and prospects in the world and is still very young in his fighting career.

A competitor on the 15th season of The Ultimate Fighter, Mike Rio (9-1-0) comes from a strong wrestling background and like Couture, is just beginning his UFC career. Rio started his with a 3rd round submission over fellow TUF 15 combatant, John Cofer last month. Couture will look to erase last weekend's fight with KJ Noons from the minds of fans and redeem himself with an impressive UFC debut. Rio will want to keep the momentum going and would serve a prime candidate to introduce Couture to the Octagon.
1/22/13 7:35 PM
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MachidasStraightLeft
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Sorry bro, I would've done that for you - didn't realize you asked.

1/22/13 7:37 PM
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MachidasStraightLeft
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Damn.  

While I did think that Masvidal vs Cerrone/Pettis winner and Healy vs Maynard were a little iffy, I really like the rest of those fights.

Noons/Pearson, Khabilov/Barboza, dos Anjos/Varner, and Thomson/Diaz are all excellent fights.

 

1/22/13 7:42 PM
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LucrativeMath
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Agree with the poster who stated that Masvidal is one of the best and most under rated lightweights right now. A fight with him vs. Cowboy or Pettis would be awesome.
1/23/13 12:34 PM
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Titanium Rhino
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MachidasStraightLeft - 

Damn.  

While I did think that Masvidal vs Cerrone/Pettis winner and Healy vs Maynard were a little iffy, I really like the rest of those fights.

Noons/Pearson, Khabilov/Barboza, dos Anjos/Varner, and Thomson/Diaz are all excellent fights.

 


Thanks brotha! I knew you would like some of those.
1/23/13 12:36 PM
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Titanium Rhino
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LucrativeMath - Agree with the poster who stated that Masvidal is one of the best and most under rated lightweights right now. A fight with him vs. Cowboy or Pettis would be awesome.

Yessir! He's my boy so I'm a lil biased but it's hard not to like Jorge as a fighter, especially when you watch his street fight with Kimbo in the background watching Jorge beat the brakes off his "protegee" hahaha
1/23/13 12:37 PM
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Titanium Rhino
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Actually I'm thinking about it now and I would rather see Maynard Vs Winner of Wiman/Grant and Nurmagamedov vs Healy but oh well. Too late now!
1/24/13 12:29 PM
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Titanium Rhino
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TTT
1/29/13 5:46 PM
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Titanium Rhino
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Booyah! Thomson Vs Diaz just announced for UFC on Fox 7! Love this fight and just had a feeling they would be quick to throw this one together.

I was actually hoping Thomson would get Miller in Jersey at 159 but this is just as good!

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